Galveston Island

by Lea G.

Galveston island, situated on the southeast coast of Texas, is referred to by many people as one of the most haunted places in the U.S. Before I get into my personal accounts, I'd like to give you a little background on the city. The small beach city has survived plagues, fires, war, salve trade and hurricanes. This makes for a very haunted location. The island has been occupied since the early 1500s. Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked on the island in November of 1528. He even referred to the island as "Isla de Malhado" or Isle of Doom. On September 8, 1900 the island was struck by a deadly hurricane. To this day it holds the record as the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. The storm resulted in people buried in shallow and unmarked graves. Over one fourth of the population was wiped out over night. With all this death, you can imagine all the paranormal activity reported on the island. Among all the activity reported many consider The Hotel Galvez to be the most haunted building on Galveston Island. So many people report paranormal happenings there, it's hard to deny. Many people report that spirits are trapped in this hotel with with no way out. Guests report seeing apparitions, hearing breathing and laughter from children. That being said, I will continue with my personal experience from this haunted hotel. 

Being the thrill seekers we are, my husband and I decided to get a room at the hotel and see for ourselves. The 5th floor has all the paranormal activity. Of course we booked our room there. We prepared for our stay by ordering a ouija board off eBay. Stupid, I know. Little did we know, we would be messing with fire. 

When we arrived the hotel was absolutely beautiful. It had an old world charm that had been beautifully restored. It's hard to find a hotel with character like this these days. We were both very excited to see what the night would bring. Neither of us really thought much of the alleged paranormal sightings. We were there to get away from the city, relax and possibly have a little fun using our new ouija board. We had never used one before. We weren't aware of the dangers. 

We anxiously waited until midnight and pulled out the board to play. We started by asking simple questions. We asked if anyone was with us, if anyone would like to communicate, etc. We had no result. We both laughed, feeling a little stupid. It's just a stupid board game, right? What were we thinking we would accomplish? Neither one of us were tired, so we decided to take a quick drive. 

The island is creepy at night. It's pitch black and the waves were roaring against the sea wall. We aimlessly drove towards one end of the island. My husband came up with the idea to check out a cemetery we had seen when driving to the hotel. I was reluctant, because it was in a sketchy area of town, but agreed. We arrived at the  cemetery and it was locked. Next thing I know my crazy husband is jumping the fence. He then urges me to do the same. I rolled my eyes and started to climb it. He caught me on the other side. Even at night you could see that cemetery was in a state of disrepair. There were creepy old beheaded statues and it looked unkempt. My husband is a home inspector, so he pulled out his thermal camera to look around. You could see blue, or cold spots, coming from the tombstones. We walked around for a little while examining everything. I was taken back when I heard my husband from about 15 feet away squealing like a little girl. I started laughing and asked him what he had seen. He explained he saw a tall blue spot show up on his thermal camera right next to me. It was standing behind me and over a foot taller than my 5'5" stature. I thought he was messing around with me, until he started back towards our car. He was genuinely freaked. As a skeptic, and a man that fears nothing, this was strange to see. Still standing in the cemetery, he yelled for me to hop the fence and come back to the car. I laughed to myself, he was really scared! We decided to call it a night and head back to our hotel. I teased him the whole way back that he was probably haunted now.

After coming back to our room, I rented a movie and my husband soon fell asleep. I have horrible insomnia and always stay awake pretty late. I kept eyeing the board I had thrown to the corner of our room. I had nothing better to do, so I decided to pull it out and play. Something I didn't know, you should never play the board by yourself. I anxiously placed my fingers on the planchette and whispered questions. Again, no response. I decided to keep playing because I had nothing better to do.  I was eagerly anticipating something to happen. I decided to take the game up a notch. I would probe the ghosts to talk to me, I thought. I started making claims that there were no spirits in the hotel and that they didn't have the power to communicate. Before I could even finish my rant to the unresponsive spirit world, I heard a knock at our door. I jumped a little and couldn't imagine who would be knocking at this hour. I opened the door to find nobody there. I shrugged it off and continued back to the board. The planchette wasn't where I left it. I searched for it in the dark trying not to disturb my husband. I gasped in shock. The planchette was sitting on the bed where my husband laid asleep. He was laying on his side and the arrow of the planchette was pointing at him. Now I was officially freaked out. I tried to reason with myself. Did I place it there when I got up to check the door? Was my husband messing with me? None of this was the case. I decided to retire the board and try to get some sleep. I was still pretty freaked out. I ended up falling asleep because I was exhausted. I was woken up in the middle of the night to my husband sitting up straight in bed. His eyes were open staring at the wall. He couldn't sleep either, I thought to myself. The hotel must be creeping him out. I pulled on his arm and asked him if he was ok. No response. He just sat there staring at the wall. I laughed and told him to cut it out. Still no response. Was he asleep? I couldn't make sense of it. Why was he being weird? He then turned and looked at me in a way I had never seen before. His eyes looked empty, and he had no expression on his face. He looked almost hypnotized. I started to panic. Was there something wrong with him? Why wasn't he responding? I shook him again, getting no reply. Why wasn't he waking up? I got out of bed and flipped on the lights. He lifted his hand, with his finger pointing at the board. He then laid back down, without a word. After a moment he shut his eyes and started snoring. What the hell, I thought. I yelled his name again, getting no response. I paced back and forth in the room. What just happened? All I could think about was the absent look he had on his face. It shook me to my core. I sat there for hours reading, I couldn't fall back asleep. 

Finally morning came. I guess at some point I had drifted off. I woke up to my husband opening the room door and holding a tray full of muffins. Good morning babe I brought you some muffins, he said. I looked at him a little shocked. Do you feel ok, I questioned. I told him about the strange events that had happened. He explained that he felt fine and chuckled. He thought I was messing with him. He continued to tell me he had gotten some type of a rash on his back. He claimed it was from something he ate. I turned him around and pulled up his shirt. There were long scratch marks across his back! I gasped and asked him if he did this to himself. He told me he couldn't reach where it was on his back. I agreed. I brought him into the bathroom to show him. That's not a rash, I yelled! He laughed it off and told me I was over reacting. I reluctantly went into more detail about his odd behavior that night. He told me I was being silly. He claimed he was just stretching in his sleep. He didn't remember a thing. I knew he wasn't "stretching in his sleep" or anything even remotely related to that. I couldn't wake him up, it was like he was in a trance. I didn't even recognize him at the time. It's like he was there, but he wasn't. My husband is a light sleeper and wakes up very easily. I'd never seen him do anything like this before. Even though he remembered nothing, and thought I was being stupid, I know what I saw. That person sitting there on the bed that night was not acting like my husband. Something very sinister had happened. I still to this day don't know what happened. When I tell the story my husband still laughs it off. I will never go back to The Hotel Galvez, or that cemetery. Even thinking about it gives me the creeps. I'm not sure if the occurrences were from the cemetery or the hotel. Either way it's downright terrifying to think about. I left the ouija board under the bed because I was too afraid to take it home with us. I still wonder what happened to it. To anyone who is considering playing with the ouija board, take our experience as a caution. I realize now how stupid it was and will never play one again.

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